This post is the fifth post in a series that SnoWhite and I are doing on living with Nut Allergies. This week we are talking about children and nut allergies. Please be sure to read SnoWhite’s thought on this issue. She has been dealing with nut allergies most of her life and her information has been very helpful to me.
Today post is written by my daughter. When we decided to deal with the subject of kids and nut allergies, I thought it would be a great time to let her share her feelings and struggles of dealing with a nut and peanut allergy. She was diagnosed with her allergy less than one year ago. I hope you enjoy her thoughts and that it helps some of you understand the struggles and emotions that children with food allergies struggle with.
I am Lynn’s twelve year old daughter, Brianna. I am a child with a peanut, tree nut, and sesame allergy. To learn more about me please visit my site.
It is hard to have a nut allergy. Even if you are not a child it is hard, but I think maybe it is harder on children for several reasons.
It is hard to see others eating nuts or things with nuts in it. I miss things likes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, trail mix, and eating nuts by the handful.
Another thing that is hard on both children and adults is the fear of cross-contamination. I am always afraid of cross-contamination when some one around me eats nuts. I often ask people to wash their hands after eating nuts. People do not understand this, so I try to explain to them the risk it is to me.
I have to be careful when I go over to friends and family members houses. I have to read labels to see if there are nuts in products and food.
I think it is also hard to go over to friends or family members house to eat. It is hard to find a nut free meal if you do not pay attention to what has nuts in it and what does not. I think it makes people not want to have me over to their house. They think it is to difficult to deal with my allergies. I think this might be harder on children then adults because children like to go over to there friends house often.
Were you a child with a nut allergy? How did you feel and make it work?
My daughter can not eat gluten and my son is lactose intolerant. My daughter also is severly allergic to cats and dogs. Most people do not understand how serious their reactions can be (though they are much less serious than most nut allergies), so we try to host friends over at our house or meet friends at a park. My kids have made some friends who have the same allergies and that makes it so much easier to visit their homes.
I was diagnosed with diabetes at 15. That’s an awful time to start to have to feel different from everyone around you. I had to read every label, I couldn’t snack, or “just take a bite” of something. I had to take injections at school to help control it as well. It takes a lot of courage to have to take care of yourself by knowing what you can and can’t eat. I think you are dealing with the added stress great by participating in this blog.
Amy @ Finer Things
Hi Brianna — Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t fathom! We don’t have any food allergies in our household, and I hope we never do. I can’t imagine having to pay such close attention to both what I eat and what others are eating. You’re doing a great job keeping safe and taking care of yourself!
My 8-year-old son has a tree nut allergy. He sometimes gets very upset when there are foods (especially desserts) that he can’t have because they either have nuts or have a high contamination risk. But he understands that he can get very, very sick. I can see that, like him, your allergy has made you very aware of your health at a young age, which might seem like a drag now, but it’s good to get started on paying attention to what is in your food. It might not be as fun as having cookies and cakes and stuff from bakeries, but the responsibility that you are learning now is something that a lot of people don’t understand until they are much older.
Don’t worry too much about people not wanting to have you over. They might think it’s weird at first, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s hard for people to understand the health issues of others, but eventually they realize that it doesn’t make you weird or different. And if they don’t realize that then they’re not good friends. Keep your chin up! You’re doing great!
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Brianna. One thing I liked to do when I was your age was have a “movie theater night”! We’d find a special movie, and then have friends over to have foods that I knew were safe – all homemade popcorn, ice cream sundaes and munchies during the movie! It was a fun way see a movie with my friends where I didn’t have to worry about nuts 🙂
This is a great post!
Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD!
Great post Brianna! While our family doesn’t have food allergies, I have several friends with children with nut, wheat, egg and shellfish allergies. In my experience, it truly helps to be aware of the allergies. Knowing what the children can and cannot eat makes it easier to prepare meals and snacks. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns to your friends. It’s okay to be different, after all it’s variety that is the spice of life. 🙂